On Wednesday February 9th we will find out who the 2021 Nickelodeon, TIME and TIME for Kids, Kid of the Year will be as Trevor Noah will return to host the TV special on Nickelodeon, TeenNick and Nicktoons. We get to learn that the top five finalists are Cash Daniels, Mina Fedor, Samirah Horton, Orion Jean and Lino Marrero, who you can find more information about below. We also have the full list of the top 20 finalists in the Kid of the Year below so make sure to acknowledge them as they are all deserving.
This is such a great thing and we always look forward to celebrating all of the kids that work towards this goal.
• Nickelodeon, TIME and TIME for Kids today announced the top 20 finalists for the second annual Kid of the Year, a multiplatform honor recognizing extraordinary young leaders who have made amazing and admirable contributions in 2021 in a range of fields, including social justice, science, education and more.
• Trevor Noah (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah) will return to host the Daytime Emmy® Award-nominated Kid of the Year TV special to highlight the top five honorees, with one outstanding kid ultimately being recognized as TIME Kid of the Year, and featured on the cover of TIME and in additional coverage in TIME For Kids.
• The special will simulcast across Nickelodeon, TeenNick and Nicktoons on Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
• The Kid of the Year TV special will introduce the top five honorees ahead of the ultimate Kid of the Year being named, and feature guest stars from entertainment, sports and pop culture to help surprise them and celebrate their work.
• Celebrity guests scheduled to make appearances throughout the special include Jabari Banks, Charli D’Amelio, Dude Perfect, Rob Gronkowski, Scarlett Johansson, Zach King, Let It Happen, Charles Melton, 2020 Kid of the Year Gitanjali Rao, and Meghan Trainor, among others.
• Following a nationwide search that yielded thousands of inspirational kids to be nominated, the top five honorees are:
o Cash Daniels (12; Chattanooga, Tenn.), an environmental activist working to conserve the rivers in his community, spending every day cleaning up cans and bottles near them. He has collected over 1,000 aluminum cans each week in 2021 alone and works to spread awareness about the interconnectedness of streams, rivers and oceans, and the threat that microplastics have on the environment. He is often joined by up to 25 kids for his regular clean-ups and runs a recycling program to collect cans from businesses. He also wrote a children’s book called “One Small Piece” about river pollution, which he reads to kids at the schools near him.
o Mina Fedor (13; Oakland, Calif.), an activist working to end racism towards the AAPI community. At the age of 12, she organized a rally to help spread awareness about AAPI hate, which saw over 1,200 members of her community show up to support her and learn more about the issues that she, along with many others in the AAPI community, face in America. She also co-founded the middle school activist group AAPI Youth Rising (AYR), which is working to get legislation passed in California that would make the teaching of ethnic studies mandatory in public high schools.
o Samirah Horton (11; Brooklyn, N.Y.), an anti-bullying advocate who uses music to spread awareness about the lasting effects of cruelty by others. Also known as DJ Annie Red, she has been rapping and DJing since the age of 6, using music as a way to share her message. Due to her deep and raspy voice, she has often been the target of bullies, leading her to write the song “No, You Won’t Bully Me” and book “The Bully Stop.” She travels across the country to give presentations to kids to bring awareness of the effects that words can have, and also to let kids who are bullied know that they are not alone.
o Orion Jean (11; Mansfield, Texas), an activist who believes that spreading kindness is his life’s mission. He founded his cause, “Race to Kindness,” after winning a student kindness contest in 2020. Since then he has organized many successful “Race to Kindness” events that have included collecting over 500,000 books for kids who need them, collecting over 100,000 meals for families in need in the Texas area, and more. He also wrote his first book titled “A Kids Book About Leadership,” which aims to inspire other kids to start their own kindness campaigns.
o Lino Marrero (14; Frisco, Texas), an innovator and award-winning inventor who has combined his love of sports with the desire to create practical, cool and eco-friendly devices. He recently invented the Kinetic Kickz 2.0, a shoe insert that can charge devices using energy that is generated from inside the sole of a shoe, charging as the wearer walks through the use of kinetic energy. The device has won at both regional and national competitions, and he hopes to continue inventing devices that can take advantage of this clean energy source.
• The Kid of the Year finalists and honorees were selected by an Advisory Board made up of representatives from Nickelodeon, TIME, Special Olympics, Rosie’s Theater Kids and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA to help narrow down the top 20 finalists. Of the 20, the five honorees were selected with the help of a kid committee comprised of Nickelodeon stars Alaya “That Girl Lay Lay” High (That Girl Lay Lay), Dylan “Young Dylan” Gilmer (Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan) and Wolfgang Schaeffer (A Loud House Christmas).
• Each of the five Kid of the Year honorees will receive a cash prize and have the opportunity to serve as a Kid Reporter for TIME for Kids with exclusive access to a Nickelodeon event. For additional information about the initiative, visit NickKidoftheYear.com and here on TIME.com for stories about the finalists rolling out leading up to the second annual Kid of the Year reveal.
• The finalists also in the Kid of the Year top 20 this year are: Lujain Alqattawi (13; Millersville, Md.), Ruby Kate Chitsey (13; Harrison, Ark.), Miles Fetherston-Resch (9; Saint Pete, Fla.), Gaurangi Gupta (11; Redmond, Wash.), Ethan Hill (11; Birmingham, Ala.), Khloe Joiner (9: Missouri City, Texas), Sadie Keller (14; Lantana, Texas), Zoe Oli (9; Atlanta), Jayden Perez (12; Woodland Park, N.J.), Genshu Price (13; Hauula, Hawaii), Kai Shappley (11; Austin, Texas), Jenell Theobald (15; Beaverton, Ore.), Sammie Vance (13; Fort Wayne, Ind.), and Alena Wicker (12; Cedar Hill, Texas).
• Nickelodeon’s Kid of the Year is sponsored by Greenlight® and OshKosh B’gosh®.
• The Kid of the Year TV special is a co-production of TIME Studios, Day Zero Productions, Mainstay Entertainment and Nickelodeon. Executive Producers include Ian Orefice, Mike Beck, Maria Perez-Brown, Rebecca Gitlitz, and Jeff Smith (TIME Studios), Andrea Delbanco (TIME For Kids), Trevor Noah, Sanaz Yamin, and Ashley Dizon (Day Zero Productions), Norman Aladjem, Derek Van Pelt (Mainstay Entertainment) and Ashley Kaplan, Paul J Medford and Luke Wahl (Nickelodeon).